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Population ageing in Arab countries 

Population ageing in Arab countries
Chapter:
Population ageing in Arab countries
Author(s):

Abla Mehio Sibai

and Anthony Rizk

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0007
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date: 19 August 2019

To varying degrees, Arab countries are experiencing demographic shifts towards ageing populations. This is brought about by a region-wide decline in mortality and fertility rates and a surge in life expectancy over the last few decades. Future projections indicate a much faster pace of population ageing with subsequent rectangularization of the population pyramid. Rapid urbanization, increased tobacco consumption, nutrition transition, and reduced physical activity have contributed towards the rise of non-communicable diseases in later life. Of significance are the high levels of diabetes and obesity in oil-rich countries. Meanwhile, geriatrics and gerontology remain nascent fields in most medical and nursing schools. Some of the most pressing needs include building population-based databases, emphasizing geriatric and gerontology programmes, embracing a holistic patient-centred approach to care supported by coordinated referrals to specialized follow-up, capitalizing on the role of the family and intergenerational support systems, and encouraging civil society organizations of older persons.

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